Novel in Progress

When I give readings, one of the most common questions I get asked is to describe my writing process. I always hesitate to talk about it, because it seems so idiosyncratic and hence useless to anyone else but me. For instance, I always begin my writing day by listening to Rachmaninoff. Why Rachmaninoff? I have no idea. But listening to the same piece every day helps me start my routine. And routine is paramount for me, because I can’t afford to wait for my muse to show up. She’s kind of unreliable. I’m also pretty fastidious about my note-taking, so in addition to two writing notebooks (one for fiction, one for nonfiction), I also keep a logbook to keep track of what I’m writing and what I’m reading. Right now, I’m working on my new novel, so my current draft, my research, and all my associated notes are stored together. That way, I can find what I need when I need it. It’s early in the process, so I am only on my first box for this novel and it is not even full yet. But, you know, one page at a time…

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